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    Organ Donation and Transplant, From Webb MD2-27=2018 
    Organ Donation: The Facts: 
    At this moment, more than 123,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ. One more person is added to the national waiting list every 12 minutes.

    Each of these people is in desperate need of a kidney, liver, heart, or other organ. More than 6,500 people a year -- about 21 a day -- die before that organ ever becomes available.

    A smaller number of organs come from healthy people. More than 6,000 transplants from living donors are performed each year.

    You might have wondered about donating an organ -- either to a friend or relative who needs an organ right now, or by filling out an organ donor card. Before you decide to become an organ donor, here is some important information you need to consider.

    Who can donate an organ?
    Just about anyone, at any age, can become an organ donor. Anyone younger than age18 needs to have the consent of a parent or guardian.

    Having a serious condition like cancer, HIV, diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease can prevent you from donating as a living donor.

    Do my blood and tissue type have to match the recipient's?
    It's easier to transplant an organ if the donor and recipient are a good match. The transplant team will put you through a series of tests to determine whether your blood and tissue types are compatible with the recipient's.

    Some medical centers can transplant an organ even if the donor's and recipient's blood and tissue types don't match. In that case, the recipient will receive special treatments to prevent his or her body from rejecting the donor organ.

    How can I become an organ donor?
    To donate your organs after death, you can either register with your state's donor registry (visit OrganDonor.gov), or fill out an organ donor card when you get or renew your driver's license.

    To become a living donor, you can either work directly with your family member or friend's transplant team, or contact a transplant center in your area to find out who's in need of an organ.

    If I donate an organ, will I have health problems in the future?
    Not necessarily. There are some organs you can give up all or part of without having long-term health issues. You can donate a whole kidney, or part of the pancreas, intestine, liver, or lung. Your body will compensate for the missing organ or organ part. If it is determined that donating an organ would put your health at risk in the short term or long term, then you would not be able to donate.

    Will I be paid for donating an organ?
    No. It's illegal to pay someone for an organ. The transplant program, recipient's insurance, or recipient should cover your expenses from tests and hospital costs related to a living organ donation. The transplant program can go over what coverage is available for additional medical services. Some or all of your travel costs may also be covered.

    Will organ donation after death mean I can't have an open-casket funeral?
    No. The surgical incisions used for organ donation will all be closed.

    Will my organ donation after death incur any costs to my family?
     The costs of the tests and surgery related to the donation will be covered by the recipient -- most often by the recipient's insurance. Your medical care and funeral costs are paid for by your family.

    Does signing a donor card have an impact on the quality of medical care I get at a hospital?
    No. When you are in a life-threatening situation, the medical team that is treating you is separate from the transplant team. A maximum effort to save your life will be made before an organ donation is considered.
    Pros and Cons of Organ Donation
    When you're considering becoming a living organ donor, think very carefully about these pros and cons:
    Pros: Probably the greatest benefit of organ donation is knowing that you're saving a life. That life might be your spouse, child, parent, brother or sister, a close friend, or a very grateful stranger.
    Cons: Organ donation is major surgery. All surgery comes with risks such as bleeding, infection, blood clots, allergic reactions, or damage to nearby organs and tissues.
    Although you will have anesthesia during the surgery as a living donor, you can have pain while you recover. Pain and discomfort will vary depending on the type of surgery. And you may have visible, lasting scars from surgery.
    It will take some time for your body to recover from surgery. You might have to miss work until you're fully healed.
    Jennifer
    Apr 24, 2018
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